I’ve been meaning to take a closer look at Word Press and Moodle for some time now, and I finally had a chance to play with Word Press this morning. Oy. I really, really like what I see so far.
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of James Farmer at IncSub, you too can set up your own free Word Press site. And if you have any blogging experience at all, finding your way around should be pretty straightforward. Word Press is a very robust open source software that has all of the features I’ve been yearning for in Manila in terms of easy to understand user levels, review of posts and comments, flexibility in what’s private and public, and a real nice, easy to understand “dashboard” that puts everything at your fingertips. Very nice.
Now here’s the news…it’s not that I don’t love Manila…I still do. But I’ve actually started some conversations with one of the department supervisors about the idea of creating blogfolios for all of our students at the beginning of their freshman year where they post their work throughout their time in high school. And my brain is just swimming with the possibilities. And Word Press, if it can scale, seems like it has great potential in terms of running upwards of 3,000 sites since it has all of the good stuff that Manila is missing. Hmmm…
Five to nine inches of snow coming tonight…a day off tomorrow for Moodling around, perhaps?
I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I used Blogger and decided to switch to Word Press for the blog I’ve just started.
And, I remember you had some issues with Manila and comment spam. Word Press does a pretty good job on this as well. You can filter specific keywords in comments to block any potential spam. It also allows you to manage/edit comments by batch in the admin panel.
Hope this helps and keep up the good work,
Marco Kalz says
I tried different Open Source Weblog Systems with multiblog-functionality and my personal winners are b2evolution (http://b2evolution.net) and BlogCMS (http://www.blogcms.com). You can test both systems at Opensourcecms (http://www.opensourcecms.com/). I also played around with Manila for a while, but I have to say that it is miles away from being user-friendly and not easy to understand for beginners.
Bye from Germany
Tom Kennedy says
Like the former poster, Marco, I have been testing open source blogging software for a while and the two best are WordPress and b2evloution. Each has its strengths.
Worpress: allows comment approval which is a big consideration for educators, great templates have been developed so it can be customized. There are lots of new features that have been added to the new version 1.5. I don’t first hand know how well it scales but it runs on top of mysql using php which is known to scale very well. Its limitation is that one installation supports one blog. It is possible to set up more than one but it requires a bit of work.
b2Evloution: does not support comment approval but is desigend out of the box to allow multiple blogs. It is somewhat more complex than WP because of this. It has a very powerful admin window and comes with a good selection of themes with others available.
Like many things OpenSource I am amazed at the quality of this software. I am a proponent of OSS and can think of no better match for K-12 public education, especially in today’s fiscal climate.
I am using WordPress on my own site http://www.tomkennedy.com/wordpress and have set up an Intranet server in my school with both WordPress (which is our de facto staff communications tool), and b2evolution so that I can set up blogs for each class/teacher.
Steve Dembo says
After some frustrations with pMachine, especially regarding the way it handled spam comments, I switched to WordPress and have been thrilled with it. So far, I have yet to find a feature I would want in a blogging package that it cannot handle. Last night, I decided to try to figure out if I could somehow incorporate enclosures in WordPress, so that I can tie my blog feed and podcast feed together. Little did I know that WordPress 1.5 has this feature built in, so I could have been doing it all along! I’m not sure how well it work work on a large scale (multi levels of editors, shared user databases, easy management for multiple sites), but it’s a fantastic package and the price is certainly school friendly!
James Farmer says
b2 is, as far as can gather, a previous version of WP (which Is why I haven’t mentioned it) but I think you’re right Will, WP vs. Manila for 3000 eportfolio/blog… As soon as wpmu gets some good admin stuff going on (there’s already an admin plugin but v. baqsic) then there’s little contest!
Tom Hoffman says
You know, Will, I think this is another place where you should cash in some of your hard earned political capital and get some funding to have exactly what you want custom built as an open source project. I tried to figure out how to get some grant money to develop weblogging tools specifically for schools a couple of years ago, but I didn’t try very hard. It should be a lot easier now, blogging and open source are much better known. You’ve staked out your position as a consensus leader in the field. By the time we have the paperwork on all this figured out, SchoolTool and Zope 3 will be ready as a solid architectural foundation for the project. The work would fit the developers at Etria (http://etria.com), who have been working on SchoolTool, perfectly. We could get Brian Bell to do some themes… it’d be great. And relatively cheap $50,000 – $100,000, but sure to get plenty of publicity for whomever’d fund it. It isn’t something Mark would want to fund as core SchoolTool work. We’ve got lots of more mundane student information system stuff to get moving on. I just don’t know who to send the grant application to. Ideas?